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Texas gov. signs breast density law

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 23, 2011
Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law last week a bill that requires breast density risks to be spelled out in reports mailed to women after their mammogram.

Texas Act HB 2102, known as "Henda's Law," is named after Henda Salmeron, a Dallas woman diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2009, after a mammogram failed to find the cancer because of the density of her breast tissue, according to patient advocates.

"I had never heard the word 'dense breast' until I was sitting in the oncologist office with a breast cancer diagnosis. I wondered how this had happened and why didn't I know?" Salmeron said in a statement.

The bill, which passed the state House last month, takes effect Sept 1.

[Read "Ultrasound in the realm of breast cancer detection: should mammography be worried?"]

Texas has become the second such state to pass a breast density law. A similar act was passed in Connecticut in 2009. And in California, another related bill, SB 173, is due to be heard in the California Assembly soon.

The American College of Radiology Imaging Network says that around 40 percent of women getting screening mammograms have dense breasts, with younger women typically having denser breasts.

About 50 percent of women under 50 and one-third of those over 50 have dense breasts, according to Are You Dense Advocacy, a patients charity group.

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